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‘I am going to keep a close eye on you’

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Leicestershire’s Rehan Ahmed is in line to become the youngest player to represent the Three Lions in red-ball cricket after he was called up for the Test series against Pakistan. The 18-year-old leg spinner is touted as the next big thing in English cricket, and an old video of the late great Shane Warne predicting his rise has been doing the rounds after his promotion to the senior squad.

Rehan Ahmed caught the eye of selectors and experts alike after his impressive outings in the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2022 in New Zealand. He finished as England’s second-highest wicket-taker in the tournament. A video on social media shows a 13-year-old Ahmed shaking the hand of the legendary leg spinner Shane Warne, who tipped Ahmed to be playing first-class cricket ‘very soon’.

“That is awesome man! Really, really good, I am going to keep a close eye on you. I think we will be commentating on you very soon. I think you are going to be playing first class cricket by the age of 15,” Warne was heard telling the young spinner in the video.

He will add to the make-up of our squad: Brendon McCullum

Warne’s prediction wasn’t too far off, as Ahmed made his First-class debut for Leicestershire in May this year at the age of 17. He has already got a five-for to his name along with a century against Derbyshire, drawing the attention of the English selectors. He was originally selected as a net bowler for the Pakistan tour but has been promoted to the senior squad after his distinct performance in county cricket.

“We know he’s not the finished article and has raw potential. But Ben [Stokes], myself, and the rest of the coaches like how he approaches his game. The experience of being part of the squad in Pakistan will be hugely beneficial for him, and he will add to the make-up of our squad,” England’s red-ball head coach Brendon McCullum said on Ahmed’s selection.




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